New BARC Report Calls for Regional Action on Climate Change and Other Threats Summary
The Bay Area Regional Collaborative (BARC) has released a new report entitled Raising the Bar on Regional Resilience, which details the Bay Area’s vulnerabilities to sea level rise and other effects of climate change, flooding, earthquakes, and other hazards. The report also provides an action plan for developing a regional response to these threats. Developed by BARC and key partners including the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the State Coastal Conservancy (SCC), and the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP), the report calls for the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated Regional Resilience Plan that will help the Bay Area adapt, recover and push forward in the face of both immediate and long-term challenges.
Through case studies of Bay Area communities including San Rafael, East Palo Alto, Oakland and Hayward, Raising the Bar identifies vulnerabilities — such as transportation infrastructure, fragile housing, disadvantaged communities and close-to-shore natural areas — that cannot be addressed solely at a local scale, and provides a variety of strategies for planning, adaptation and response.
“This past year has brought an unprecedented number of catastrophic climate events upon many vulnerable people and places in the United States and around the world,” said BARC Executive Director Allison Brooks. “Over the last several years, the Bay Area has seen its own extreme climate events moving from drought to flooding to wildfires. Taken together, these events bring a sense of urgency to making our communities, infrastructure and environment more resilient.”
Raising the Bar offers six steps to regional resilience that include developing a regional governance strategy for climate adaptation, strengthening policy leadership on the topic, providing technical assistance, enhancing built and natural infrastructure, and creating new funding for adaptation projects. BARC is accepting public comments on the draft report until January 15, 2018. Comments may be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
BARC was created through state legislation to foster the coordination of the Bay Area’s regional agencies on issues of regional significance. The Collaborative includes representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Association of Bay Area Governments, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. BARC’s website can be reached at: http://bayarearegionalcollaborative.org/index.html.
Part 1: A Look at the Risks
Threats to the Bay Area’s urban and social resilience include many hazards associated with the region’s geographic setting and changing climate. With its low-lying shorelines and major active earthquake faults, the Bay Area faces risks including earthquakes, flooding, sea level rise, drought, heat, changes in precipitation and fire.
Part 2: Six Steps to Regional Resilience
Building off the steps to strengthen regional resilience outlined in the Action Plan of Plan Bay Area 2040, Raising the Bar details six steps that BARC, its member agencies and regional partners must take in order to develop an integrated Regional Resilience Plan.